EPT12 Malta: Sam Greenwood leads final table of €25,000 High Roller
For much of today it looked like it was a case of different day same chip leader as Quan Zhou became the first to eclipse the one million and two million chip marks. It would've been somewhat of a surprise had he led wire to wire on Day 2. But by the time the blinds were high enough, and the field small enough, new faces had taken his place.
Mike McDonald assumed that position with 16 players remaining, and it was only a late flourish from Sam Greenwood that saw him eclipsed at the top of the chip counts. That means it'll be a Canadian one-two when the final eight return tomorrow at 12.30 CET to play for the trophy and €498,575.
For Greenwood it means he's made back-to-back final tables in this event, having finished seventh here in Season 11. He set the unofficial final table when he eliminated Dietrich Fast in tenth place. It all went in pre-flop with Greenwood's pocket twos racing against Fast's K♣T♥. A two on the flop made it a one-sided race and gave Greenwood the chip lead. He barely had time to stack his chips before Jason Wheeler eliminated Christopher Frank in ninth and play was done for the day.
As we discussed earlier, for all McDonald's final table appearances in high roller events he's yet to taste victory in one. If he's to do so tomorrow he'll have to get past men who have. Men like Sylvain Loosli and Juah Helppi.
The Frenchman of course took down the Super High Roller event in Barcelona back in August. Remarkably Loosli is one of three players amongst the final eight who didn't enter this tournament to the start of the day. The others are Jason Wheeler and Benjamon Pollak. Why even bother with the first eight levels indeed!
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As you'd expect from a buy-in of this size none of the final eight are unknowns, although some are better known for their exploits in tournaments in America than on the EPT. Like Byron Kaverman. He was McDonald's closest challenger for the latter part of the day after he picked off a bluff from Charlie Carrel to ascend the chip counts.
Like Loosli he went deep in Barcelona, where he bubbled the official final table. He's put that demon to rest here and back to back high roller wins at The Aria in March and a WSOP bracelet in the $10,000 six-max NLHE event in June of this year are proof of his ability.
The finalists are now guaranteed €67,990 but aren't the only ones who'll get paid. With 74 entries in total (63 unique, 11 re-entries) the €1,813,000 prize pool will be split 11 ways (full details here). Last to leave empty handed was Mikita Badziakouski. The Belarusian had trouble staying awake in this event last year but needed all his senses to stay alive when this one reached the final two tables.
He was almost permanently short stacked and couldn't avoid the hangman's noose forever. He lost the most classic of races with queens against Christopher Frank's A♦K♠ - which rivered a straight - and everyone else was in the money. Andrew Chen was first out in the money in 11th place (€45,325) and was followed by Fast (10th, €45,325) and Frank (9th, €51,670).
The €25,000 High Roller is just one of many events that have been taking place today. The IPT Main Event is down to the final table. That's being streamed on a one hour delay (Italian commentary only) from 1.30pm CET on PokerStars.tv.
Elsewhere today there was fun with flipouts a qunituple stud event that featured the defending EPT Malta champion. There was plenty more side event action with the Women's event and the IPT High Roller among those that caught our eye.
The Main Event starts tomorrow at noon tomorrow and headlines the action. Everything about EPT Malta is on the main EPT Malta page. More specifically, all the hand-by-hand coverage of the €25,000 High Roller is on the €25,000 High Roller page and everything from the IPT Main Event is on the IPT Main Event page.
Begin plotting your own bid for EPT glory by downloading the PokerStars client and having a crack. Follow this EPT event via the EPT app. There you will get all the latest news, chip counts and payouts. You can download it on Android or IOS